I Think My Mother is Going Senile

Jason Freeland

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My mother has never been very technical, but she reached a new high or low point today. I just spent 15 minutes talking her through Windows setup since she was panicking that her new laptop had lost the account I created for her on it. She had just brought it over to me today, claiming that Outlook wouldn't open (opened fine for me) and had brought it back home. When she turned it on, she sent me a photo of the Windows setup screen saying it just popped up. I talked her through the process and when we got to the end and she said it was asking her to setup a Dell account, I said hold on you have a Lenovo laptop. She said the old one was a Dell ( I had wiped that one to give to her sister when I set up the new one and you can guess where this is going). After arguing with me that she was on the new laptop when I said you turned on the old one, my stepfather finally said that is the old one. She never had brought the new one in from the car.

If she didn't live with a spouse, I would be researching memory care nursing homes right now. I can't be all day every day computer support for her, I have a job and a family of my own. How have the rest of you dealt with a parent who is losing their memory? This isn't the first thing by far that has triggered warning bells. I used to be a nursing aid on an Alzheimer's unit, so I know how bad those places are and I hate the thought of her going to one. What sayeth the clan? It's just me and my steps, since my brother died, but I could use a little historical advice from people who have been there.

Edit: For the record, she is 78
 

garytx

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We placed mom in a memory care facility almost three years ago because dad could no longer take care of her. They took very good care of her. Before you move her anywhere, be sure to have all the estate planning in place. If not, memory care will drain the bank account. I strongly suggest using Holmes and Holmes in OKC. HHN

Don't stop at the durable power-of-attorney, health care POA, DNR, etc. go will full estate planning; wills, trusts, etc. I did not and the cost of going thru probate for dad cost more than the cost of estate planning with Holmes and Holmes. Plus when in probate, anyone and everyone who wants something will cause you considerable grief. Get everything in a trust, IMHO.

After going thru probate with dad, all of mom's assets are in a trust. She went to heaven this week and I know distribution of her assets will be very simple since everything is in a trust. No probate.
 

Jason Freeland

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We placed mom in a memory care facility almost three years ago because dad could no longer take care of her. They took very good care of her. Before you move her anywhere, be sure to have all the estate planning in place. If not, memory care will drain the bank account. I strongly suggest using Holmes and Holmes in OKC. HHN

Don't stop at the durable power-of-attorney, health care POA, DNR, etc. go will full estate planning; wills, trusts, etc. I did not and the cost of going thru probate for dad cost more than the cost of estate planning with Holmes and Holmes. Plus when in probate, anyone and everyone who wants something will cause you considerable grief. Get everything in a trust, IMHO.

After going thru probate with dad, all of mom's assets are in a trust. She went to heaven this week and I know distribution of her assets will be very simple since everything is in a trust. No probate.
Sorry to hear about your mom, but thanks for the advise. They already have gone through estate planning, I have a copy of it somewhere. I need to find it.
 

oksportsman

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My wife & I are dealing with her Dad who has been diagnosed with dementia for a couple of years. His spouse died of cancer 2 months ago. We have paid 24/7 help 4 days a week and spend 3 days a week in Pauls Valley with him. Her brother takes a single 3 day period a month as he lives up by Grand Lake. No easy options and certainly no inexpensive ones. Have to be there for him and that means a multitude of changes and sacrifices to do what he needs to keep his independence for at least a while longer. So I certainly share your pain Jason. Nothing is easy and you need to be thankful you have a stepfather who can help at least for now. It will be far worse if he is not around to help.
 
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Gunbuffer

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I mean nothing but good and wish you the best.
that said, you sound more impatient than frustrated. If you want to continue relationships with old folks in their “Autumn”’ so to speak, you have to allow enough for enough time and patience to properly communicate. Sometimes you just have to put your life in idle and slow down to their speed
 

TinkerTanker

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It's frustrating, for sure. If you can get her around other people her age (old folks day care maybe) it'll help. Quilting parties, bingo, stuff like that. My own mother improved to the point that she could remember things up to 2 weeks, generally. Not everything, but some things.
Other than that all you can do is visit them. They'll love that and soon enough they won't remember you so get the hugs in now.
 

Forgalspop

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My mother has never been very technical, but she reached a new high or low point today. I just spent 15 minutes talking her through Windows setup since she was panicking that her new laptop had lost the account I created for her on it. She had just brought it over to me today, claiming that Outlook wouldn't open (opened fine for me) and had brought it back home. When she turned it on, she sent me a photo of the Windows setup screen saying it just popped up. I talked her through the process and when we got to the end and she said it was asking her to setup a Dell account, I said hold on you have a Lenovo laptop. She said the old one was a Dell ( I had wiped that one to give to her sister when I set up the new one and you can guess where this is going). After arguing with me that she was on the new laptop when I said you turned on the old one, my stepfather finally said that is the old one. She never had brought the new one in from the car.

If she didn't live with a spouse, I would be researching memory care nursing homes right now. I can't be all day every day computer support for her, I have a job and a family of my own. How have the rest of you dealt with a parent who is losing their memory? This isn't the first thing by far that has triggered warning bells. I used to be a nursing aid on an Alzheimer's unit, so I know how bad those places are and I hate the thought of her going to one. What sayeth the clan? It's just me and my steps, since my brother died, but I could use a little historical advice from people who have been there.

Edit: For the record, she is 78
Been there and done that. Just remember when she was young and the mother you adored and nourished your body and mind.

By trade and mentality my mother was a teacher and the best teacher by instruction and example.
That's who I remember, not the person age defiled.

Still loving my mother! Hope you do the same.
 

TerryMiller

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Just to be bringing it up, even I have some problems with working with computers when those error messages come up, and I don't think I am anywhere near being demented or senile.

Stubborn maybe, but not the other.

Oh, and when I do have issues with a computer, the wife, who is the computer guru here, gets frustrated with me as well.
 

okcBob

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Sorry about your mom. My mom died of dementia with symptoms starting around age 75. Unless your family is wealthy & can afford private duty home nursing, you will be looking at placement in memory care or a nursing home. My advice is plan on placement sooner than later. In my personal & work experience, families generally wait too long to place the patient in a facility, thinking they can care for the patient at home. It puts an unsustainable amount of stress on the family.
When it’s time for nursing home placement, the only insurance is Medicaid (unless you have private long term insurance) so you May need a lawyer to help with the spend down & home transfer to qualify for Medicaid.
 
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